Westy calls for home fans’ help
Lee Westwood has urged the home fans to be Europe’s 13th man at this week’s Ryder Cup match at Celtic Manor.
Lee Westwood has urged the home fans to be Europe’s 13th man as they attempt to regain the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
Westwood and Martin Kaymer will lead Colin Montgomerie’s team into battle in Friday morning’s fourballs against Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
And Europe’s most experienced player – with 16 and a half points from his five previous appearances – wants the 45,000-strong crowd to give the home side an extra boost on the Twenty Ten course.
“I hope we put on a good show for them,” said Westwood, who has not played a competitive round since August 6 due to a calf injury but feels confident he can play five times if required over the weekend.
“I hope we put on lots of birdies for them, which I think we will, and I would just say to the fans to get behind us because they are our 13th man.”
Kaymer, who has won his last two tournaments – including the PGA Championship of course – added: “They have come to see great golf and support us and more than anything else we want to show them that we are here to get the trophy back.”
Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will take on Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar in the second match, with Montgomerie admitting the Northern Irish pairing was the “worst kept secret” in golf.
“We have been laughing and joking about it for two years and it is going to become a reality,” said McDowell, the current US Open champion and winner of the Wales Open at Celtic Manor in June with closing rounds of 64 and 63.
“It is going to be great to share it with a great friend and hopefully we can put the points on the board.”
A clash between McIlroy and Tiger Woods was eagerly anticipated following McIlroy’s comments that anyone on the European team would “fancy their chances” against the off-form world number one.
That did not transpire with Woods “hidden” – in Montgomerie’s words – in the third match with Steve Stricker against Ross Fisher and Ian Poulter.
Asked if the order of his pairings was intended to keep McIlroy away from Woods, Montgomerie insisted: “No it wasn’t that at all. I didn’t want to make any statement regarding that.
“But I think it’s good actually that Rory can get a game under his belt without Tiger Woods. I’m sure it will happen (in the future).”
The final match sees Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald up against Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton, US captain Corey Pavin springing a surprise by putting out two rookies together on the opening morning and leaving out FedEx Cup winner Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan, who was unbeaten in five matches at Valhalla in 2008.
“It was probably the one pairing you wouldn’t have guessed in their team,” Donald admitted. “But they’re both very long hitters and this is a course that is playing long, so they’re likely to make a lot of birdies.
“No match is easy, so we’ll respect them just like we respect any opponents.”
The announcement of the pairings saw Europe made favourites to win the opening series and lead at the end of the first day, with Montgomerie adding: “It’s very important to get that momentum and win the first series.
“Momentum has to be gained early on and then continued through the afternoon to gain the lead tomorrow evening and that’s my goal. It’s all set up for that.”
Tiger Woods to partner son Charlie in next month’s PNC Championship
Woods has not played since the Open Championship in July.
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Leona Maguire shoots day’s best to tie Lydia Ko in chasing LPGA’s largest prize
Maguire is chasing her second title while Ko is close to claiming her second straight LPGA Tour player of the year.
Rory McIlroy edges ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in race to be European number one
McIlroy’s third round of 65 at the DP World Tour Championship put him back ahead of his rival in the rankings.
Lydia Ko firms lead for biggest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale
The 25-year-old turned a one-shot lead into a five-shot edge as she chased down the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.
Matt Fitzpatrick leading race to become European number one
Rory McIlroy gave the Yorkshireman something to think about with a late blitz.
Lydia Ko in the lead for largest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale
The 25-year-old finished seven-under 65 in her bid to win the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.